Professor Christine Gallo
September 19, 2018
Most of us can say we have heard the quote “home is where the heart is,” but everyone's heart is in a different spot. What home means to me is probably not what home means to you. Everyone does certain things to make their space a bit homier, whether that’s painting the walls, lighting a candle or arranging fresh flowers on the table. In the essay “Homeless,” Anna Quindlen spotlights why having a place to call home and the special features within it are significant. According to Anna, qualities of home are so important because they allow us to feel wanted, to have a healthy environment to live, to thrive and have a better sense of self. Quindlen says “I'm not simply talking about shelter from the elements, or three square meals a day or a mailing address to which the welfare people can send the check—although I know that all these are important for survival. I’m talking about a home, about precisely those kinds of feelings that have wound up in a cross-stitch and French knots on samplers over the years,” (165). I agree with the point of view presented in “Homeless.” I believe wholeheartedly that everyone needs and deserves comforting qualities in a home, rather than just a mailing address.
In “Homeless” the author uses personal details and an illuminating encounter to illustrate the struggles of people who don't have homes. Through this, she explains that a home is not merely the physical shelter that protects a person from the elements. Home is a place where you can be comfortable and at peace, and that’s a feeling that no amount of money can buy. Without it, a person can lack a daily routine, the ability to stay grounded, and can even lose touch with themselves. Quindlen sheds light onto the lives of the homeless and shows that their struggle is more than just not having a shelter—it’s not having a home.
We all have different homes, and there are necessary features that make up all homes, such as walls, windows and doors. However, there are more important qualities that make a house a true home. A home should have a warm and welcoming environment that gives you a sense of safety and security. A home is where you can feel like you belong and never fear being yourself. A home should also include the people and animals that you love and exist as space for them to gather. Additionally, a home should encase and display things that you love. Without these qualities, the feeling of “home” does not exist.
To that point, the author notes several quirky attributes of her home that she loves. “I love my home with a ferocity totally out of proportion to its appearance or location. I love dumb things about it: the hot water heater, the plastic rack you drain dishes in, the roof over my head, which occasionally leaks. And yet it is precisely those dumb things that make it what it is—a place of certainty, stability, predictability, privacy for me and my...